Did you give back this holiday season?

There were many ways students could be charitable this year, both in South High and around the area.



More than 120 coats line the walls of Assistant Principal Eric Wilhelm's office after being donated by the South High community.

Kaylee Kettelhut, Opinions Writer

After Thanksgiving, families typically get started putting their trees and decorations up, go shopping for holiday deals on presents to wrap and go under the tree, and have a general excitement about what the end of December brings. Christmas is a lot of time spent with family and gifts and food. Although most people at South and in the St. Louis area are fortunate to be able to buy presents and feed their family and friends, not everyone is. And there are many charities in St. Louis that you can donate to, to help those in need.

The Circle of Lights Association accepts donations to help teens in school that need tutors or have mental illnesses and need extra help. They also help people with drug addictions so they can get the help they need. The Circle of Lights also provides housing for the homeless. Although this isn’t a typical holiday charity, to some people this would be more important to them than gifts. When you are struggling, money or gifts isn’t always going to help or fix things. So, this organization could change the lives of many families. Circle of Lights is located at 1308 Veronica Ave Saint Louis, MO 63147.

Toys for Tots takes money donations and toy donations for children from families who can’t afford toys for their kids. Toys for Tots website allows you to make a donation, make a toy donation, or request a toy. Toys for Tots is sponsored by many big corporations such as: Build-A-BEAR, Delta, and The Walt Disney Company. They have over a millions dollars in toys donated to them each year. And each year lots of families are blessed to receive the toys. You can donate online at the Toys for Tots website, or there are bins for Toys for Tots at local thrift shops and schools. The donation location closest to South High is in Lafayette Center, next to Dierbergs, at Kidsplay. 

Our local paper, the St. Louis Post Dispatch, has been helping needy families in the Saint Louis area since 1922 with its 100 Neediest Cases campaign. Each day since Nov. 17 the paper has highlighted 2-3 families who could use a little help this season. Anyone interested in helping one of these families can visit the Post Dispatch website: https://www.stltoday.com/news/special-reports/100-neediest/.

Circle of Concern is also in need of donation and volunteers. They’re in need the most for perishable goods but accept all canned, bagged, and perishable food. Accept money donations for financial assistants where 86 cents of each dollar received goes to clients. Circle of Concern  does the Adopt-A-Family program through churches, families and businesses. Their food pantry is located at 112 St. Louis Avenue in Valley Park, across the train tracks from the Frisco Train Store and Carol House Furniture. 

Although it is now too late to help with this, Parkway did its best to help families in need, as well. Through the Parkway Adopt-A-Family, students and teachers could donate money or toys to help more than 70 Parkway families who need help this holiday season. The DECA club had a toy drive where some toys were donated. The FACS department collected donations for the Women’s Safe House, and the school held a coat drive where students donated more than 120 coats for people who need them in the cold winter. 

Christmas isn’t about presents and food. It’s about family. But, it’s also traditional to exchange gifts as a family and little kids love the idea of toys waiting under the tree for them. These charities are a great way to help out the ones who don’t know if they will have anything at all on Christmas. And donating your time, or your money, will make families happier than ever at Christmas time.